Dunfermline – Fife – Royalty and Philanthropy

The town of Dunfermline – Fife was once the capital of Scotland during the 11th to 15th Centuries. It had a long association with textiles however in the 20th century this industry began to decline and today the town of around 40, 000 people is mainly a service town. The centre of Dunfermline is a conservation area and there are a number of notable building here and much to be seen in the surrounding countryside.

The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace museum: The town’s most notable citizen was Andrew Carnegie who was born here in 1835, a son of a weaver. He immigrated to America and became one of the richest men in the world. He made a number of philanthropic bequests to the town who have also honoured him with a statue in the local park.

Dunfermline Abbey and Palace: This harks back to the period when this was Scotland’s capital and the royal family lived here. A Celtic church and an 11th century church were built where the abbey stands now and remnants can be seen through a viewing grate in the floor of the abbey. King Robert the Bruce was buried here along with 22 other member of the royal family.

The Scottish National trust has done much work on the nearby town of Culross, 6 miles out of Dunfermline. Streets and houses have been restored to an ambience of 17th Century Scotland. Culross Palace is also here displaying many paintings and good examples of wooden panelling, lovingly restored.

St Margaret’s Cave was where Queen Margaret, who was later canonised, came to pray. Accessible by steps leading down to the altar spot, but only open in summer and limited to 20 people at any one time.

Malcolm Canmore’s tower is on the Burgh arms of Dunfermline and a plaque marks the spot where it was situated and gives a good historical background.